Today’s C.H. Spurgeon devotional (written sometime in the last half of the 1800s) was particularly interesting for me given that we are exploring the option of attending a “normal” church after being part of a home church for the last couple years. But, it has implications far beyond an organized church. It is a lesson for us regarding bible studies, friendships, and even casual acquaintances. It covers school, work, and politics. We are wheat amongst tares.
The lesson? We should be very aware of this. Why? Because the world is trying to destroy our witness to Christ. Our job, as ambassadors, is to represent Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:20)
We often hear people say it is important for us to demonstrate Jesus through our actions – even to the point that our actions are more important than our words. Certainly, our actions need to reflect our obedience to Jesus, but let’s not forget that our mouths are also required. I would argue that speaking in truth is far more challenging than actions alone. It’s not easy to be wheat amongst tares.
Spurgeon points out that we need to be aware of what is going on. The world is doing its best to suppress truth. The evidence of this quickly meets us as soon as we begin to speak of the bible as absolute truth. People are ready to challenge our views. It is important to learn how to properly handle these encounters, firmly, yet seasoned with salt.
I think all we have seen when a church is led by the tares. Sin becomes tolerated and the Word of God is neglected. Dead churches blanket the landscape. There really is no reason to belong such a church. Only God will revive it. Don’t think that you will. As Spurgeon warns us, there is great risk to us. “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12
What if we find ourselves in a “Christian” environment and suddenly become aware that the tares are gaining (or have gained) control? Let’s remember that truth is more important than lies. We’re not in a popularity contest. All of the Apostles were killed with John as the only exception, and he was imprisoned on an deserted island.
James 4 is a stark warning about this. “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God?” (v. 4) The world is angry with God. Yes, even “nice,” but unsaved, people are enemies of God and angry with him. “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)
Wheat Amongst Tares
Here’s the problem for us. Speaking truth to a world that hates Jesus will not be welcomed. Remember, unless one is born again, you hate Jesus. See Rom. 8:7. If we are obedient ambassadors, confrontation will be ordinary. If it’s not, we either aren’t sharing the gospel to those who are lost or we are allowing lies to influence our witness. This is not good. Remember, we are wheat amongst tares.
No one said this would be easy. I find words of Isaiah applicable, “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2
What makes us tremble? God’s Word or the world’s?
Please be sure to read the devotional.